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The Nobel Prize was started in 1901 by the Nobel Foundation and is given in memory of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish scientist who made 355 inventions, including the invention of dynamite. Renowned Indian poet, musician, and painter, Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize in 1913. The second Indian to win the award was Sir Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, or CV Raman. In all, 12 Indians won the coveted award. This page provides a list of Indian Nobel Prize winners.
The Nobel Prize is a prestigious award that is announced every year for excellence in various fields, including Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics, and a distinguished achievement towards humanity, known as the Nobel Peace Prize. The award is named after Swedish businessman and philanthropist, Alfred Nobel. Winning this prize is a great achievement and puts the awardee on the global map, with recognition for their work around the world.
Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian economist, won the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly with his wife Esther Duflo and American Michael Kremer for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Banerjee was born to two economics professors and studied in Kolkata’s South Point School before continuing his education at Presidency College. He has been living and working in the United States since the 1980s. The award recognizes Banerjee’s groundbreaking work in economics and demonstrates the global impact of his research.
List of Nobel Prize Winners From India
|1||Ronald Ross||1902||Physiology or Medicine||United Kingdom (born in Almora, British India)|
|2||Rudyard Kipling||1907||Literature||United Kingdom (born in Bombay, British India)|
|3||Rabindranath Tagore||1913||Literature||West Bengal|
|4||C. V. Raman||1930||Physics||Tamil Nadu|
|5||Har Gobind Khorana||1968||Physiology or Medicine||United States (born in Raipur, British India)|
|6||Mother Teresa||1979||Peace||India (born in Skopje, North Macedonia)|
|7||Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar||1983||Physics||United States (born in Lahore, British India)|
|8||14th Dalai Lama||1989||Peace||India (born in Taktser, Tibet)|
|9||Amartya Sen||1998||Economics||West Bengal|
|10||Venki Ramakrishnan||2009||Chemistry||United Kingdom United States (born in Chidambaram, India)|
|11||Kailash Satyarthi||2014||Peace||Madhya Pradesh|
|12||Abhijit Banerjee||2019||Economics||United States (born in Calcutta, India)|
1. Rabindranath Tagore – Nobel Prize for Literature (1913)
Rabindranath Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize; In fact, he was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize. He adopted it when India was still a colony of Britain. His field was literature. “Gitanjali” or “Offering of Songs”, a collection of poems, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore was a poet, artist, writer and thinker. He was awarded a knighthood from Britain to honor his work.
In 1913, when India was still a British colony, Rabindranath Tagore put India on the world map by winning the country’s first Nobel Prize. He was a poet, artist and thinker and became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Tagore, the first Indian Nobel laureate, won the award for his poetry collection, Gitanjali. The main theme of the collection of poems was devotion. Even today, poems from this collection are taught in schools across India.
2. CV Raman – Nobel Prize for Physics (1930)
If you’ve ever wondered why the sky is blue, you’ve unknowingly thought about the Raman effect. CV Raman or Sri Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist from Tamil Nadu who became the second Indian Nobel laureate. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work on the scattering of light. His research – called Raman effect or Raman scattering – earned him the distinction of being the first person from Asia to be awarded for achievements in science. He discovered why the sky is blue by studying how light behaves when passing through different materials. The day of his discovery, 28 February, is celebrated as National Science Day in India.
3. Har Gobind Khurana – Nobel Prize for Medicine (1968)
Har Gobind Khurana was a biochemist born in Raipur, British India. He later immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work in genetic research. He shared the award with his co-researcher. His research in the field of genetic code placed Har Gobind Khurana among the Indian Nobel Prize winners.
4. Mother Teresa – Nobel Peace Prize (1979)
When a person dedicates their entire life to helping and improving the poor and needy, the world sits up and takes notice. Mother Teresa was born in Kosovo, Serbia but moved to India at the age of 19. In 1946, Mother Teresa, then known as Sister Teresa, experienced a “call within a call” when she saw the poor and destitute while traveling by train from Calcutta.
In 1948, he started working to help the poor, sick, destitute and those living on the fringes of society through the Missionaries of Charity. He joined the list of Nobel laureates in India when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 in recognition of his work to alleviate poverty and misery. He was also recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 2016.
5. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar – Nobel Prize for Physics (1983)
Chandrasekhar was born in Lahore in undivided India and spent his career in the United States, where he eventually became a citizen. He was an astrophysicist and incidentally, CV Raman’s nephew. He shared his Nobel Prize with his fellow researchers for his work on the formation and evolution of stars. He even has a scientific and physical structure – the Chandrasekhara Seema – named after him. He joined the list of Nobel Prize winners in India in 1983.
6. Amartya Sen – Nobel Prize for Economics (1998)
Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on welfare economics. Sen was born and raised in Calcutta where he still spends his winters. He spent the rest of his time teaching in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has written many books – Argumentative Indian being one of them. Amartya Sen is the fourth Indian to bring the Nobel Prize to India. Amartya Sen has always been in the news for his scathing criticism of Indian politics and economics.
7. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan – Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2009)
After earning a doctorate in physics, Venkataraman Ramakrishnan began studying molecular biology at the University of California, San Diego. A few years later, he published a series of groundbreaking scientific papers on the RNA structure of the ribosomal unit. Ramakrishnan was awarded the Nobel Prize in recognition of his work in this field. He shared the award with two of his research colleagues. Ramakrishnan was born in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu; Both his parents were scientists and he had his early education in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
8. Kailash Satyarthi – Nobel Peace Prize (2014)
Have you heard of Bachpan Bachao movement? This NGO, started by Kailash Satyarthi – a child rights activist, works to end child labour. Satyarthi was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for her work in eradicating child labor and child trafficking. To date she has freed more than 88,000 children from child labor and slavery. Kailash Satyarthi joined the list of Indian Nobel Prize winners in 2014 when he shared the prestigious award with Malala Yousafzai.
9. Abhijit Banerjee – Nobel Prize for Economics (2019)
And of course, we have the latest Indian to join the list of Indian Nobel Prize winners – Abhijit Banerjee – about whom we have already spoken above.
Apart from these nine winners from India, there are two more winners who were born in India. Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book, was born in Mumbai in 1865. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907 for his work and was the first English-language writer to receive the award.
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Ronald Ross was born in Almora, British India and won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his exceptional work in the field of malaria.